Power Query specifications and limits

Important   This article applies to Power Query, a data analysis feature available for Excel that lets you discover, combine and refine data. You may need to enable Power Query in Excel. You can also download and install the most recent version of Power Query for Excel, which automatically enables it. Power Query technology is also built into the Power BI Desktop, which is a stand-alone report authoring and data transformation tool for Power BI.



Query name length

80 characters

Invalid characters in a query name

Double quotes (“), periods (.), leading or trailing whitespaces

Number of cells in a Query Editor data preview

3,000 cells

Navigation pane items displayed per level: databases per server and tables per database.

First 1,000 items in alphabetical order. You can manually add a non-visible item by modifying the formula for this step

Size of data processed by the Engine

Limited to available virtual memory (for 64-bit version) or about 1GB for 32-bit version, if data cannot be fully streamed, such as when sorting the data set locally before filling it

Number of columns per table


Maximum size of text in a preview cell

1M characters

Maximum size of text filled to Excel or data model

Not limited by Power Query

Maximum number of rows filled to worksheet


Soft limit of persistent cache. A soft limit can be exceeded for periods of time.


Individual entries in the cache


Compressed query and dependencies as stored in the connection string. For more information about how to display connection information, see Display connection information.

64K characters

Import from .xls and .xlsb workbooks.

255 columns

Import from xlsx workbooks.

No limit

Display connection information

  1. In the DATA ribbon tab, click Connections.

  2. In the Workbook Connections dialog box, select a connection and click Properties to display the Connection Properties dialog box. For more information, see Connection properties.              

Applies To: Excel 2010, Excel 2013

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